RHONDOR DOWLAT-ROSTANT

The Police Service has recorded a slight decrease in domestic violence cases between 2020 and 2021 but is concerned at the increase in reports from migrants of different countries.

Head of the Gender Base Violence Unit (GBVU), Inspector Claire Guy-Alleyne, and Manager of the Victim and Witness Support Unit (VWSU), Aisha Corbie, shared some the latest data on the domestic violence issue at the Police Service weekly media conference, on Thursday November 25th.

“When we look at stats, January to November we saw a drastic decrease in women killed via domestic situations. Last year around this time we had about 24. To date we have 12, male and female. Eight females and four males,” Guy-Alleyne said.

VWSU Manager, Aisha Corbie, noted the Unit saw 899 victims in 2020, while from the start of this year to date, they accommodated some 858 people.

“We have seen some increased numbers since COVID-19, but it may also be due to the fact that there is greater confidence in coming to make reports because of the advent of the GBVU, which coincided at the same time with the pandemic in 2020,” Corbie said.

“The greater percentage of persons seeking assistance from the VSU has been for assault and assault related matters. Usually physical assault,” she added.

GBVU head, Inspector Guy-Alleyne said making it easier to file reports also contributed to a bump up in the figures.

“We have a had a lot of reports coming through the TTPS App and online reporting, so we are seeing an increase in reports.  We want to encourage the public to continue to do that. If you see something, say something,” Guy-Alleyne urged.

The GBVU head also disclosed that victims are concerned about safety and are taken to shelters that are run by Government agencies and NGOs.

“We have secret shelters, not really known to the public, where victims will be taken care of for a period of time before transitioning them back to society,” she explained.

Inspector Guy-Alleyne revealed that she, along with ACP Cooper and Insp Bridgelal, were sent by the Commissioner of Police on training to the New York Police Department, to learn about how they handled domestic violence cases.  She said that information is being shared with colleagues in the Police Service.

“We have created a new training course at the Police Training Academy called ‘Gender Responsive Policing’, to train the GBVU officers, as well as the wider corps of TTPS officers.”

The GBVU head indicated that during the current observance of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the TTPS will be in orange and supporting the cause:

“We will be bringing a wide awareness to the public to let them know of the services available from the TTPS, so victims and family members know where to turn to.”